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LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
RIVERSIDE



THE



BRITISH WORLD IN THE EAST,



VOL. I.



THE

BRITISH WORLD IN THE EAST

A GUIDE

HISIOEICAL, MORAL, AND COMMERCIAL,



Xnfci'a, Cijina, gusrtralta,

AND THE

OTHER POSSESSIONS OR CONNEXIONS

OF

GREAT BRITAIN

IN THE

EASTERN AND SOUTHERN SEAS

BY

JLEITCH RITCHIE.

IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. I.



LONDON:
W. H. ALLEN AND CO., 7, LEADENHALL STREET.

1847.



M.I



PKEFACE,



" As one saith in a brave kind of expression, the sun
never sets in the Spanish dominions, but ever shines
upon one part or other of them." So remarked Bacon
of a country which is now one of the least considerable
of the powers of Europe, ignorant that one day the
" brave expression " would be a simple truth when
applied to his own. In like manner, it perhaps never
occurred to Gibbon that the phrase he seems to de-
light so much in repeating, " the Roman World,"
might be adopted and modified with more than equal
propriety by future historians of the British empire.
Rome was great and powerful at a time when the
rest of the world was mean and weak, but England is
a giantess even among the proudest nations of the
earth ; and as for the extent of her territory, to use the
felicitous language of Webster, "her morning drum-
beat following the sun, and keeping company with
the hours, circles the earth daily with one continuous
and unbroken strain of its martial airs."



VI PREFACE.

When the author of these volumes was invited to
prepare a Survey of the British world in the east,
he was at first of opinion that the comparative
smallness of the space to which he was restricted
would prove a disadvantage. But so far from this
being the case, although it has unquestionably added to
his labour, it has saved him from the imprudence of
entering into competition with better writers, and enabled
him to produce a work which will not be subjected to
invidious comparison. The intelligent publishers saw
that, at least in so far as the two principal countries
to be treated of were concerned, a History, in the
usual sense of the word, was not wanting : they desired
rather to have the spirit and results of history in a
form at once popular and practical. They knew, like-
wise, that meritorious Abridgments already existed ;
but at any rate they were desirous of avoiding the
details of such indices which, by crowding the memory,
render it difficult for the reader to grasp and com-
prehend the subject. The present work, therefore,
aspires only to give the heads of knowledge; and
the author trusts that there will be found in it the
materials for correct thought even where he has been
unable to use them aright himself, and that it may
thus serve to stimulate the curiosity, expand the
mind, and invigorate the judgment.

Thus much it has been considered necessary to say,
in order to explain any paucity of names and other
details which may be observed in the following pages.
Few events of any importance have been voluntarily



PREFACE. Vll

omitted ; but the reader is referred to other works for
a personal account of the actors.

The same restriction must be applied to the com-
mercial information ; which is intended to give the
merchant and economist an idea of the nature, value,
and resources of the various markets, and thus to
serve as an introduction to the circular and price-
current that are to be found elsewhere.

In spelling proper names, the author has had nothing
in view but the practical nature of his book. He has
adopted, therefore, that mode of spelling to which he
supposed his readers to be most accustomed; although
in doubtful cases he has of course assumed the privilege
of a casting vote. The Arabian prophet, for instance,
he has called Mahomed by way of a compromise ;
although, if his own ear is to be trusted, Muhummud
would be nearer the sound. As for the French
Mehemet, it resembles nothing in nature but the
bleat of a goat.

It needs only be added on this subject, that at the
request of the publishers he has refrained from encum-
bering his pages with those notes and references,
which, in the case of a book of greater pretensions,
might be reckoned indispensable.

" Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Bermuda, and the
Bahamas," says an American writer, " overawe and
command the entire stretch of our Atlantic coast ;
while the West India Islands guard the entrance to
the Gulf of Mexico, and Canada environs us upon
our northern border :" to which he might have added



VI11 PREFACE.

that the Hudson's Bay territory extends backwards to
the pole. But the eastern march of England is by far
the most remarkable. Not to mention Gibraltar and
Malta which dominate the Mediterranean, the whole
outer coast of Africa is dotted with her settlements
and fortresses ; Ascension Saint Helena Mauritius
guard the intercourse of the two hemispheres ; Hin-
dostan is her own ; along the shores of the Burman
dominions, Siam, and the Malay peninsula are her
ports and her cities ; from Singapore she commands
the Indian Archipelago ; and in China her colony of
Hong-Kong, with a magnificence of spirit worthy of
her destiny, throws open to the world that commerce
which her arms had made her own. But this is not
all. A new continent spreads its prodigious expanse
on the ocean between India and America ; and there
this modern mother of empires has already planted
her standard round the coasts east, west, north, and
south and the ceaseless hum of English industry
mingles with the voice of the Pacific.

To describe the progress of this eastward stream, and
the countries it fertilizes, together with those that lie
near its course, is the object of the work now submitted
to the public ; and the author can only regret that the
execution of the task is not likely to harmonize so
well as he could wish with the greatness and utility
of the design.



CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.



INDIA.
BOOK I.

THE HISTORY OF INDIA FROM THE EARLIEST TIME TO THE
DOWNFAL OF THE MAHOMEDAN EMPIRE.

CHAPTER I. INDIA AS KNOWN TO THE GREEKS.

Pago
First inhabitants . . . . .2

General idea of the geological structure of the country . 8

Knowledge of India obtained by the Greeks under Alexander

the Great . . . . .9

Conjectures as to the state of civilization . . 14

Early commencement of decline . . .19

CHAPTER II. FROM THE FIRST INROADS OP THE MAHO-

MEDANS TO THE FALL OP (illl/NI.

Sketch of the history of the Tartar nations . . 21

Conquests of the Arabs . . . .23

State of India before Mahmood of Ghizni . . 26

His history, death, and character . . .28

Traces of the feudal regime in India at this period . 37

The first of the Slave-kings . . . .40

CHAPTER III. FROM THE SLAVE-KINGS TO THE CONQUEST
OP BABER.

Movement among the Tartar nations . . .41

Reign of the maniac Allah-u-din . . .43

Accumulation and dissipation of the wealth of India . 44

Conquest of Tamerlane . . . .47



X CONTENTS.

Page
CHAPTER IV. FKOM THE ACCESSION OP BASER TO THE

DEPOSITION OF SHAH JEHAN.

The conquest of Baber . . . .50

Flight of Humayoon and birth of Akbar in the desert . 53

Exploits of Akbar . . . . .54

Incorporation of the Hindoos with the Mahomedans . 56

Jehangir . . . . . .59

History of the Light of the Harem . . .60

Sir Thomas Roe at the court of Jehangir . . 67

Reign of Shah Jehan . . . .69

CHAPTER V. AURTJNGZEBE TO THE END OF THE MOGUL
DOMINION.

Reign of Aurungzebe and rise of the Mahrattas . . 71

Progress of the Mahrattas and rending of the empire . 74

Nadir Shah . . . . .75

The battle of Paniput and fall of the Mogul dominion . 76

General review of the preceding history . . .77

BOOK n.

THE CIVILIZATION OF INDIA UNDER THE HINDOOS AND

MAHOMEDANS.

CHAPTER I. COMMERCIAL INTERCOURSE WITH THE WESTERN
WORLD.

Early history of Indian trade . . . .83

Phenicians, Egyptians, and Romans . . .84

The Queen of the East . . . .85

Staple articles of trade . . . .86

Appearance of the Arabs upon the scene . . 89

Venice and Genoa . . . . .91

Changes occasioned by the discovery of a route to India

round the African continent . . .92

Rise and fall of the Portuguese dominion . . 93

The Dutch and the English . . . .96

The French . . . . .106

Commencement of hostilities between the French and

English in India ..... 109
General convulsion in India and battle of Plassey . .115

CHAPTER II. INTERNAL INDUSTRY AND THE INDUSTRIOUS
CLASSES.

Distribution of wealth in India . . 119

General condition of the people . . .122



CONTENTS. XI

Page

Description of the village system . . .124

Clubs or guilds of the trades . . . .129

Effect of castes on industry .... 129
Staples of industry ..... 130
Stationary condition of the arts under the Mahomedan
dominion . . . . .136

CHAPTER III. RELIGION CASTE.

Character of the Hindoo mythology . . .140

Brahrninical system ..... 141
Buddhism ' ' . . . . .147

Morality of the Hindoo religion . . . 148

Asceticism in India compared with that of other countries . 152
System of caste . . . . .154

Trifling influence of Mahomedanism upon the religion and
caste of India ..... 159

CHAPTER IV. GOVERNMENT, LAW, LITERATURE.

Form of government .... 162

Administration of the laws .... 167
Collection of the taxes . . . .168

National literature . . . . .171

Influence in these particulars of the Mahomedan conquest . 176
Administration of the laws of the Mahomedans . . 180

CHAPTER V. MANNERS AND MORALS.

Condition of women .... 182

The Hindoo mother ; . : ' . . .184

Marriage ...... 185

Alleged indelicacy of the women . . .187

Gentleness of the national character . . .188

Crime and poverty ..... 189

Death and funerals ..... 192

Comparison between the Hindoo and Mahomedan character 193

BOOK LU.

THE HISTORY OF THE SETTLEMENTS OF THE ENGLISH AND
OTHER EUROPEAN NATIONS IN INDIA.

CHAPTER I. FROM THE BATTLE OP PLASSEY TO THE ACQUI-
SITION OP BENGAL BY THE ENGLISH.

State of the country after the battle of Plasscy . . 200

Position of the English and French . . . 201



x CONTENTS.

Page

Siege of Madras by the French . . 204

Capture of Pondicherry by the English . . 205
Victories of Clive . . . . .207
The battle of Baxar, and establishment of the English as the

greatest military power in India . . 210
Description of the country at this epoch . . .211

CHAPTER II. FROM THE ACQUISITION OP BENGAL BY THE
ENGLISH TO THE PEACE -WITH TIPPOO IN 1784.

Conquest of Tangore . . . .217

Destruction of the Rohillas .... 222

The English an independent power in India . . 224

Success of Hyder Ali at the head of a coalition against them 226

Peace concluded with Tippoo .... 227

CHAPTER III. FROM 1784 TO THE END OF THE MAHRATTA
WAR IN 1785.

Deposition of the Rajah of Benares by the English . 230

Capture of Bangalore .... 232

Capture of Seringapatam, and a new treaty of peace . 233

Renewal of the war . . . . 236

Second capture of Seringapatam, and death of Tippoo . 237
Oude subsidized, and the Nabobs of Surat, Tangore, and

Arcot deposed ..... 240

Treaty of Bassein ..... 242
The Mahratta war, and the Emperor permanently in the

hands of the British .... 243

Their victories and triumphant peace . . . . 244

CHAPTER IV. FROM THE END OF THE MAHRATTA WAR IN 1805
TO THE FINAL SUBVERSION OF THE MAHRATTA POWERS.

Mutiny of the native troops at Vellore . . . 249

Mutiny of the European officers at Seringapatam . . 252

Capture of the Dutch possessions in the Indian Archipelago . 255

War with Nepaul ..... 259

The Pindarrie war ..... 263

Defeat of the Mahratta princes . . . 265
Deposition of the Peshwa (the head of the confederacy), and

annexation of his dominions . . . 268

Destruction of the Pindarries .... 269



CONTENTS. Xlll

Page
CHAPTER V. FROM THE END OF THE MAHRATTA AND PIN-

DARR1E WAR TO THE TREATY FOR THE RESTORATION OF

SHAH SOOJAH.

The Burmese war ..... 270

Mutiny of the native troops at Barrackpore . . 278
Chastisement of the state of Bhurtpore by the British as the

paramount power in India .... 281
The Rajah of Mysore pensioned, and his territories put into

the hands of a British commission . . . 282

Annexation of Coorg .... 283

Origin of the Affghan war .... 288

CHAPTER VI. FROM THE TRIPARTITE TREATY TO THE PRE-
SENT TIME.

Occupation of Candahar by the British army . . 294

Capture of Ghizni ..... 295

Entry of Cabool ..... 296

Capture of Khelat ..... 296

Surrender of Dost Mahomed .... 298

Insurrection at Cabool and murder of British officers . 300

Fatal retreat and massacre of the army . . . 302
March of the avengers ; the destruction of Candahar,
Ghizni, Istaliff, the bazaar of Cabool, and the defences of

Jellalabad ; and the return of the British army to India . 309

The war with Scinde and annexation of the country . 313

Misconduct and chastisement of the Mahrattas at Gwalior . 317



BOOK IV.

THE CONSTITUTION AND REGIME OF THE EAST INDIA
COMPANY.

CHAPTER I. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COMPANY FROM THE
COMMENCEMENT AT HOME AND ABROAD.

First English traders to India .... 322

Early constitution of the Company . . . 324

Misconduct of the Company's servants in India . . 330

Change in the constitution of the Company . . 332

Institution of the Board of Control . . . 334

Existing constitution and regime . . . 341



XIV CONTENTS.

Page
CHAPTER II. THE ARMY AND MARINE OF THE COMPANY.

Origin and early history of the army . . . 351

Arms and accoutrements of the troops . . . 352

Strength of the army .... 355

Promotion ..... 357

Military funds ..... 360

Causes of the loyalty of the sepoys . . . 361

Picture of the march of an Indian army . . 363

Constitution of the Mogul forces . . . 366

The Indian navy ..... 367

CHAPTER III. LAW AND POLICE.

Original constitution of the courts of law . . 373

Separation of the revenue and legal departments . . 376

Restoration of the union . , . . 378

Working of the police system .... 381

Administration of justice at the several presidencies . 387

Punishments ..... 389

Improvement in the judicial system . . . 391

CHAPTER IV. REVENUE, COMMERCE.

Hindoo taxation ..... 395

Taxation under the Mahomedan rule . . . 397

Perplexities of the British . . . . 398

Zemindary settlement of Lord Cornwallis . . 399

Ryotwar settlement ..... 402

Monzawar or village settlement . . . 404

The salt monopoly . . . . . 407

The opium monopoly .... 408

Commercial revenue of the Company . . . 410

CHAPTER V. ECCLESIASTICAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND OTHER
ESTABLISHMENTS.

Unwillingness of the English to interfere in matters of religion 419

Slow increase of the church establishment . . 419

Present establishment .... 420

Obstacles in the way of conversion . . . 421

Progress of education .... 422

Medical establishment of the Company . . . 426

Education of the natives by themselves . . . 428



CONTENTS. XV

BOOK V.

A GEOGRAPHICAL OUTLINE OF INDIA; ITS PRODUCTIONS,
RESOURCES, AND CAPABILITIES ; ITS CONNECTION WITH
EUROPE BY MEANS OF STEAM NAVIGATION; AND A
COMPARATIVE VIEW OF THE CONDITION OF THE COUN-
TRY UNDER HINDOO, MAHOMEDAN, AND BRITISH RULE

CHAPTER I. A GEOGRAPHICAL OUTLINE OP INDIA.

Page
Description of the country on the basis of the soubah

division of Akbar .... 433

System of revenue . . . . . 451

Extent and population .... 453

CHAPTER II. THE PRODUCTIONS, RESOURCES, AND CAPA-
BILITIES OP INDIA.

Cotton . . . . . .456

Sugar . . . . . .459

Indigo ...... 460

Silk . . . . . .461

Opium ...... 463

Tobacco . . . . . .464

Tea, coffee, pepper ..... 465

Wool . . . . . .467

Mineral kingdom ..... 472

CHAPTER III. INDIAN STEAM NAVIGATION, EXTERNAL AND
INLAND.

History of Indian steam navigation . . . 474

New theory of storms .... 481

River navigation ..... 482

CHAPTER IV. REVIEW OP THE CONDITION OP THE PEOPLE
UNDER HINDOO, MAHOMEDAN, AND BRITISH RULES.

Difficulties to be encountered in a survey of this kind . 485

Influence of the Mahomedans and then of the British on

Hindoo civilization .... 487

History of English society in India . . . 492

Favourable change ..... 496
Moral position and prospects of the Hindoos . . 497



THE



BRITISH WORLD IN THE EAST.



BOOK I.

THE HISTORY OF INDIA PROM THE EARLIEST TIME
TO THE DOWNFAL OF THE MAHOMEDAN EMPIRE.



CHAPTER I.

INDIA AS KNOWN TO THE GREEKS.



THE plateau of Central Asia is generally looked upon as
the cradle of the human race. From this elevation nu-
merous chains of mountains radiate on all sides, forming
the skeleton of the continent, distinguishing climates, and
laying out the sites of tribes and nations. From the
same original centre, we are told, men first went forth to
people the regions thus prepared for them by nature;
and ever since, the torrent of population has continued
to burst from time to time upon the world. The pro-
genitors of mankind are usually divided by speculative



2 THE BRITISH WORLD IN THE EAST. [BOOK I.

philosophers into different races, from whom their de-
scendants are supposed to derive both their physical and
moral characteristics ; but others, insisting upon the natu-
ral equality of all human beings, derive them from one
original stock, and ascribe the varieties they present to
the influence of circumstances. According to the latter
theory, the Hindoos might be regarded as merely a
tropical variety of the Caucasian race ; the islanders of
the Indian Archipelago, again, as the connecting link be-
tween them and the Chinese ; while the Chinese, Indo-
Chinese, Japanese, Coreans, and the whole of the Tartar
tribes, exhibit undeniable proofs of consanguinity.

The Hindoos are described by some as the earliest in-
habitants of India, while others point to the various tribes
still lurking in the forests, and in recesses of the moun-
tains, without apparent connection in religion or manners
with the body of the people, as being more likely to
deserve the character of aborigines. When the wander-
ing family of man, however, first found their way through
the gorges of the Himalaya, it was in all probability in
small detachments, which may either have been dislodged
by succeeding and mightier tides of population, or may
have fled to remote parts of the country at the appear-
ance of a people to whom their ancestors had belonged,
but whom they had now forgotten, even in tradition.
The question, however, is of no moment in a practical
work like the present. It is sufficient that the great body
of the Hindoos form a tribe so peculiar as to be con-
sidered by some a distinct race of mankind. But their
character, it cannot be denied, may have been preserved,
if it was not impressed, by the nature of their habitat.
Their country was at first the fertile banks of rivers and

water-courses, all besides remaining: a desert till the in-

o

troduction of artificial irrigation. The movement of



CHAP. I.] HISTORY OF INDIA. 3

population was no doubt rapid in a region where the com-
mand of nature to increase and multiply was seconded
by warmth and abundance ; the human tide must, in a
comparatively early age, have overspread the sunny
valleys of Hindostan ; and must then have been hemmed
in, or driven back upon itself, by the ocean and the
Himalaya, the Indus and the Brahmapootra.

The limits thus casually mentioned would seem to be
the true boundaries of the country ; but the natural
division of the task we have essayed requires us, before
preparing to enter into the minuter questions of geogra-
phy, to endeavour to convey some general idea of its
grand geological distinctions. The idea, however, must
necessarily be vague and incomplete, for the materials
are scanty, and probably not so accurate as could be
desired. India, in fact, may be said to be still unex-
plored by science ; for our information has hitherto been
chiefly derived from those meritorious individuals who,
stimulated by natural taste and genius, have from time to
time mingled nobler studies with their professional pur-
suits, and thrown upon war or trade the lights of phi-
losophy.

The Himalaya chain is understood to commence to the
northward of the city of Cabool, whence it stretches,
under the Affghan name of Hindoo Koosh, to the confines
of Cashmere, a distance of four hundred and forty geo-
graphical miles. Here it gives passage to the Indus, on
the farther side of which, assuming its own more appro-
priate appellation (meaning the Abode of Snow), it
pursues a south-eastern course, separating India from
Thibet, till it is lost to observation in the unexplored
country beyond Bhootan. It is supposed, however, to
traverse afterwards the most southern provinces of the
Celestial Empire, gradually sinking in elevation till it

B 2.



4 THE BRITISH WORLD IN THE EAST. [BOOK I.

reaches the Chinese Sea. This stupendous range is
reckoned the loftiest in the world, affording, for at least a
thousand miles, a series of elevations twenty-one thousand
feet above the level of the sea, with various summits rising
beyond that height about six thousand more.

The more elevated portion of the mountains, so far as
they have been surveyed, are composed of primitive rocks,
but more especially of gneiss, with only occasional veins
of granite intermixed, and beds of micacious schist. The
other constituents are hornblende-schist, chlorite-slate,
and crystalline lime-stone, supporting clay-slate and
flinty slate ; with sand-stone towards the base, forming the
southern steps of the chain. No trace has yet been dis-
covered of volcanic action ; and these sublime mountains
may be supposed to retain the identical shape they received
when the crust of the globe was first formed. Neither are
their elevated parts subject to the vicissitudes of the
seasons which elsewhere change the aspect of nature.
No rain falls upon their heads, to freeze into glaciers, and
be again dissolved into torrents, but their peaks of primi-
tive rock are covered with eternal snow. In the names
given to different parts of the range Himadri, Himarat,
Himachil, and Himalichil snow is always the distin-
guishing expression. Himalaya (the grand collective
appellation), it need hardly be added, is one of the gods
of the country, the father of the holy Gunga, and the step-
father of Siva the Destroyer.

Running for a certain distance nearly parallel with this
range, there is another of inferior elevation, composed of
the same materials, but with sand-stone as the principal
surface rock, which forms the southern barrier of the
valley of the Ganges and Jumna.

There are also three mountain ranges disposed in a very
remarkable manner along the sides, and across the base



CHAP. I.] HISTORY OF INDIA. 5

of Peninsular India.* The western, or Malabar range,
commences at Kandeish, and stretches along the coast, at
a distance averaging about forty miles, till it terminates
near Cape Comorin, overlooking the Indian Ocean.
During this course, the primitive rocks are frequently
seen above the surface, sometimes in peaks of granite six
thousand feet (and one, it is said, seventeen hundred feet
more) above the level of the sea ; but the distinguishing
geological feature is the superincumbent trap in the
northern part of the range, and the iron clay, or laterite
in the south. The former of these basaltic formations
confers upon the landscape a character of wild and
romantic beauty, the hills sometimes rising in vast ter-
races, and sometimes in tabular masses, with deep gulfs
between ; the whole clothed with forests of teak, and
the other majestic trees of India.

The primitive rocks of the Continent rise again in the
island of Ceylon, the elements, however, which compose
them being frequently in such unusual proportions as to
confuse the geologist. Quartz, hornblende, and dolomite
are found, but not in mountain masses ; with the recent
formations of lime-stone and sand-stone, the latter forming
a belt round the whole island, between low and high- water
mark. The mountains here are in continuous chains, like
those of the main land, and rise in some cases to the
elevation of five thousand feet, with one or two peaks a
thousand feet higher.

Returning to the Peninsula, the eastern, or Coromandel
range commences at the valley of Coimbatoor, where it
may be said to issue from the western, or Malabar range ;
and it extends northward to about the same latitude,
where the latter begins. Its general elevation is lower,

* No part of India is a peninsula, but the application of the name is now
so generally received, that it would be difficult to get rid of it.



6 THE BRITISH WORLD IN THE EAST. [BOOK I.

and for this reason the rivers which have their sources in



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